In a recent interview with Martha MacCallum, Republican strategist and former White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, claimed that there “are lots of paranoid theories out there – ‘Oh, something is going to be done to steal the nomination at the end.’” The implication, of course, is that fears among Trump supporters that the oligarchs at the top of the Republican pyramid will ignore the popular sentiment and simply select whomever they prefer are unfounded. Rove is blatantly and knowingly misleading the public.
The reality of the situation was clarified by a top member of the RNC Rules Committee, Curly Haugland, in a nationally televised interview on CNBC with Becky Quick just a week prior. The host asked Mr. Haugland if the Republicans are on track for a contested convention.
“It appears we are headed that way. I don’t see very many options that would go down a different path.” Mr. Haugland does not envision a Trump nomination, despite the fact that he has secured 49% of the bound delegates in the primary elections thus far, compared to Cruz’s 31%. Cruz is the only remaining candidate to secure a double digit percentage of those same delegates. Trump leads his closest opponent by 18 points. In a typical primary, the RNC and the media at large would all be declaring such an overwhelming leader the presumptive nominee and everybody on Earth would understand that the upcoming convention would be a mere formality. This begs the question, why are the RNC elites so certain that a brokered convention is forthcoming this time?
Mr. Haugland answered this question quite forcefully after Mrs. Quick asked him the following hypothetical: “If Donald Trump heads into the nomination, maybe he’s short of the 1237 required, if you give it to someone who has a much lesser percentage of the voters who have actually turned out for these primaries, don’t you worry that you are going to just send chaos and anger into the Trump supporters and to the people who feel like their votes don’t matter?”
The host’s serious question was answered by an audibly laughing Haugland, who said “we have a problem with the media… the media has created the perception that the voters will decide the nomination and that’s the conflict here.”
After the top GOP delegate and rule-maker openly stated that the will of the primary voters is irrelevant to the nomination, he was confronted with a fairly profound retort from the host, who stated: “We feel like we live in a democratic society; what you’re telling me is it’s not a democratic society and your votes don’t necessarily matter.”
Haugland continued his diatribe by adding “political parties choose their nominee, not the general public, contrary to popular belief.”
He laughs once again, before being asked, “Then why bother holding the primaries?”
“That’s a very good question,” Haugland concluded.
There are high-level Republican operatives who are intricately involved in the nomination process openly stating that the will of the primary voters is not particularly important, because “political parties choose their nominee, not the general public.”
This does not sound like a “paranoid theory” from a fringe lunatic about the will of the public being secondary to party politics, as Karl Rove would mislead the people to believe. Haugland is not alone. There are myriad RNC elites openly endorsing the formation of a coalition around a different candidate in the upcoming convention. This includes the possibility of nominating someone who has not even announced a run at this point. Like Mitt Romney.
While I have been critical of Mr. Trump, I do think the brazen admission that primary votes are trivial is backfiring. It’s the whole forbidden fruit phenomenon. The elites are scrambling to get someone – anyone – to take Trump’s place. Joe six-pack looks at the entire establishment screaming from the top of the pyramid: “Stop! Don’t vote for Trump! He is dangerous!” Well, Mr. Six-pack is tempted to revolt, as is human nature.
As for why the elites all loathe Trump with such impassioned vitriol; is it really because he is supposedly racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, or otherwise closed-minded? Really? That’s why Republicans don’t want him? I don’t think so.
Trump does not have skeletons in the closet. Everyone knows he’s run dozens of businesses and failed at quite a few. They know he’s run casinos in Sin City. They know he’s been married three times and that he committed adultery. They know. They know. They know. And the evangelicals still support him.
Secondly, Trump does not have global corporations sending tens of millions to super PACs to fund his campaign, as has been the case with every Manchurian president we’ve had since Kennedy. Trump is self-funded. This is why Chinese and Russian leaders are on television begging US citizens not to elect him. It is also why Republican leaders who are controlled by that same stream of money are announcing that the “will of the general public” holds no sway in the current election. Sorry. Your vote really does not matter.